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The Cleveland hostage situation has sparked a lot of conversation about who’s actually living next door … and what you know about them.

When I was growing up, we knew every single person that lived on Hinsdale Court and we were very involved in each other’s lives. In fact, more often than not my neighbors knew more about what was going on in my life than I did … in a good way.  I was raised in a loving community.

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Back in the day … It was the one neighbor you DIDN’T know in your hood that was the person of interest.

These days, we tend to only know one or two neighbors – if that – and now, we’re wondering whether that needs to change.

Who knew the practice of not reaching out to your neighbor actually had a name?

Well, it does.  Cocooning.

“Cocooning”, according to those who study it, is a growing trend of people retreating into their homes and socializing less often in public.  Some of the reasons given are dependence on social media for everything from chatting with friends and family to shopping.  Many of us have designed our homes to provide every single comfort making it almost unnecessary to leave … not even to go to work.  One in 5 or 60 percent of Americans forfeit their daily commutes to do their jobs from a home office.

The recent wave of crimes like the Boston Bombing and the New Orleans shooting spree at a parade can’t help either.

But for me and my family it’s more of a scheduling issue.  I’m at work when most people are sleeping and when I’m home most of my neighbors are at work.  Throw in errands, baseball practices, homework, etc., I can’t imagine having the time to meet and greet neighbors much less bake a batch of cookies to show signs of goodwill.  I only see the ones I do know when I’m dashing to and from where ever I’m going and even though my kids have friends in the neighborhood they have less time to play outside than we did as children. Plus, a lot of their friends are from their sports teams and church and live further than walking distance.

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It’s No Longer Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood … It’s Mr. Ramsey’s  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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